Coalition files ex parte letter urging Commission to reconsider de minimis rule

On March 8, 2012, the Coalition filed an ex parte letter urging the Commission to immediately take action to prevent the inequitable and discriminatory consequences resulting from the Universal Service Administrative Company’s (“USAC”) policy forbidding de minimis contributors from electing to become direct USF contributors.  As the Coalition explained, USAC enforces a policy that precludes de minimis contributors from voluntarily electing direct contributor status.  This policy minimizes USAC’s burdens, but foists excessive costs onto de minimis contributors (particularly those that are de minimis by virtue of LIRE) in the form of wholesale supplier USF surcharge pass-throughs.  This consequence contravenes the FCC’s original intent for de minimis providers to be wholly exempted from any contribution obligations. 

The Coalition recommended that the FCC: (1) modify the Telephone Company Locator database to have a notation that indicates a particular Form 499 filer is de minimis, but only by virtue of the LIRE; (2) direct USAC to send a data field over to the FCC database that indicates a company is listed as a “NO” (non-contributor to the USF), but only by virtue of the LIRE; and (3) include in the next iteration of Form 499 instructions a notation that, for purposes of the CCR, any company that is a non-contributor by virtue of the LIRE should be treated by its suppliers as an end-user, but for the sole purpose of the U.S. interstate telecommunications revenue derived by the supplier from the end-user reseller, exempting any and all USF recoupment associated with international revenue.

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